We’re asking the WRONG questions when it comes to Autism!

Okay, here’s a dad’s rant about autism…enjoy

Recently my wife and I were interviewed for CBS 11 in Fort Worth/Dallas regarding the recent study that said 1 in 88 children are now diagnosed with some form of pervasive developmental disorder.

Mainly they wanted to ask about our feelings of the change in numbers (previously it was 1 in 100 children) and all that good stuff.

How I feel?  Dude…you should’ve asked me that 4 years ago when my son was diagnosed with autism…how I feel about a report that doesn’t really pertain to me or the state of my family?  I’m sad that numbers are increasing…I’m sad that not much SEEMS to be going on to help these numbers.

Other than that it’s just a report.  They can make numbers say just about anything.  Is there a problem?  YES.  But the story should not be in the numbers…it needs to be in other things.

WE’RE ASKING THE WRONG QUESTIONS when it comes to reports and autism and our children.

Soapbox #1 from Seth: I care but I really don’t care if the stats are 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 10 children who are diagnosed on the spectrum…the fact is that they have IT or they have something else going on with them that is keeping them from being “typical” so instead of worrying about reports–why don’t we worry about how funding is so bad?

I love Texas.  I have lived in other countries and other states and I love Texas.  I have grown up here and I want to be here for as long as I live…but some times I want to SMACK! the state of Texas, politicians, law makers, people who decide funding.

Yes I know our public schools stink–they are only going to get worse btw.

If 1 in 88 children are on the spectrum…where is the funding for these children?

Why are we all up in arms about these reports…BUT not up in arms (as much) about the pathetic excuse states like the great state of Texas have for not funding research, education, training.

As I so eloquently stated in the TV interview…”The issue is not the report, the issue is What the Heck are We Going to do with these precious children when 1 in 88 of them are 18, 19, 20+ years old?”

Soapbox from Seth #2: According to the Harvard School of Public Health: “The cost of a lifetime of care for one person with autism is $3.2 million, mostly in lost productivity and adult care”

And yet where is our funding?  I recently read an article that stated how autism affects more children in the U.S. than diabetes, childhood AIDS, CP, TB, and a bunch of other ailments…I think even cancer in children…COMBINED.

What’s it going to take to get  the public’s attention beyond wearing a blue puzzle piece or being aware for a month in April?

We need to be asking these questions:

1. What are we doing TODAY to decrease 1 in 88 children?  What are we doing for our minority communities?  How are we reaching all Americans and informing them early signs of detection or intervention?

2. What are we doing about educating parents who are just now learning that their child is on the autism spectrum?

3. What are we doing about putting 1 in 88 into an educational environment to learn in their own unique way–NEWS FLASH…children on the spectrum aren’t dumb…they’re not worthless or useless or unable to integrate into typical society…we just need to learn to educate and reach them so they can maximize their potential

4. What are we doing to educate SOCIETY about how to interact with 1 in 88?

5. What kind of programs, therapies, training are we providing the 1 in 88 at an early age?  We can’t wait and hope that our public (or even private) schools will all of a sudden help our children as they start Kindergarten

6. How are we making it possible for all families to afford the proper therapy?

7. How are we training businesses and owners to employ, train and help make our 1 in 88 successful tax-paying citizens?

8. What about housing for the 1 in 88 when they reach their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s?

I could go on and on but my blood pressure is rising and I’m rambling.

It’s not about a report.  Yeah 1 in 88 sucks…so what then?

What are we prepared to do and when are people going to start listening?

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

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